Kabir Suman, the Trinamool Congress leader who pledged support to United Progressive Alliance presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee, did not cast his vote on Thursday, apprehending harassment by his party colleagues.
Mr. Suman said he was advised by well-wishers not to go to the Assembly to cast his vote as he could be harassed and abused. “My well-wishers told me that I might be harassed, ridiculed and something untoward might happen. Since I was not well, I wanted to avoid such a situation and did not go to cast my vote.”
But Assembly secretary J.L. Chakraborty, who is also the presiding officer for the election, said he did not receive any communication from Mr. Suman about his security concerns. “Security would have been provided to him had he approached us… He did not inform us anything in writing…”
In June, Mr. Suman, sitting in the Lok Sabha for Jadavpur, said Mr. Mukherjee called him up to discuss the presidential election. He said he would support Mr. Mukherjee and described him as the most appropriate candidate for President. He was ready to vote against the Trinamool, which had reservations about Mr. Mukherjee’s candidature then.
Mr. Suman, who claims that the Trinamool has severed all relations with him, had been critical of the party leadership over a number of issues.